The Internet of Things has grown phenomenally in recent years, and is one of the most popular technologies of the Industrial Revolution 4.0.
As we have already seen in our previous article "What is IoT?", the applications of connected objects are virtually limitless and can benefit all industries.
As this graph tells us, in the space of just 5 years, investments in IoT technologies have multiplied:
X6 for the retail and utilities sectors
X5 for the B2C sector
X4 for the manufacturing, transportation, process and energy sectors
X3 for the health & insurance sectors
But what are the objects behind these trends? What are the most influential IoTs these days?
In this article we will review the most innovative and popular connected objects!
1. Smart Watches
As part of the "wearables" family (e.g., glasses, clothing, bracelets), smartwatches are undoubtedly the most popular IoT objects in the world! If we exclude from the statistics phones and computers (which technically are connected objects), smartwatches are the most purchased IoT objects in the world.
Currently, this market is largely dominated by Apple, with 80% of the market share with its iWatch. Other big players in the connected watch industry are Samsung, Fitbit, Garmin, and Fossil.
With the improvement of batteries, smartwatches are still gaining in popularity and have been able to go beyond the stage of the simple fashion phenomenon to bring real utility to their users. As true extensions of your phone, smartwatches allow you to display customizable information or alerts to keep up to date with everything in the blink of an eye. But that's not all.
What are the features of smartwatches? Beyond the classics (timer, clock, alarm), smart watches also act as pedometers, health monitors, weight monitors, sleep monitors, etc. By measuring our activity, movements, and pulse, these devices can teach us more about our bodies and inspire us to adopt healthier behaviors.
2. Voice Controllers
Another behemoth of connected products, Voice Controllers are personal assistants connected to your home and its devices, which allow you to give orders or request information by simple voice command. Google Home (OK Google) and Amazon Echo Plus (Alexa) are two of the most popular ones.
Regulate the temperature of your home, order your groceries, play music, and make a quick search on the internet, Voice Controllers give us access to a wide range of actions to make our lives easier.
It should also be noted that voice recognition technology does not only apply to these examples but that many other connected objects use it: smart TVs, vacuum cleaners, and thermostats are all devices that can be controlled by voice.
3. Smart Locks
Forget your traditional lock and keychain. In the age of IoT, doors unlock automatically!
Smart locks revolutionize the security of offices, homes, shops, warehouses...
Thanks to smart locks:
Don't ever worry about forgetting or losing your keys anymore
Check who has accessed (or attempted to access) an environment
Your doors lock automatically after use
4. Air Quality Monitors
Air pollution has become a central concern in our societies. Did you know that connected objects can help you take care of this part of your health?
Thanks to Air Quality Monitors, you can measure the air quality of an environment at all times and the presence of lead or other pathogens. Avoid going out to protect yourself in case of dangerous thresholds or activate your air purifiers or ventilation systems automatically to clean indoor air.
Also acting as weather stations, these monitors also measure humidity and temperature. Soon, these devices will be Must Have for all city dwellers concerned about their living environment. Imagine also using these objects during your real estate visits to make sure you do not choose a home where the air would be harmful to you, or when you are doing work involving the use of chemicals. Other devices also make it possible to check that there is no gas leak or CO2 pollution.
Examples: Footbot Air Quality Monitor, Flow by Plume Labs Pollution Monitor.
5. Connected Cars
With Tesla and Ford spearheading the industry, connected and smart cars are undeniably the dream of any driver in the twenty-first century!
Cars are complex things, so there are many things that IoT enables:
Detect defective parts and order them directly
Automatic driving (Self-driving) thanks to road and traffic recognition software (V2I, Vehicle to Infrastructure) based on artificial intelligence, radar, camera, and laser technologies
Remote control via phone
Creation of security perimeters (the car will not be able to leave a demarcated area)
Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication to exchange road and traffic information
Privileged integration with your other devices
Alert your loved ones on your itinerary
Synchronization with your Smart Home (opening the garage, turning on the lights on your arrival, etc.)
Fatigue detection and systems to keep you alert
Geolocation of your car
Digital key / electronic key
6. Tracking Devices
No bigger than a coin, tracking devices rely on GPS technology.
Their applications are, again, countless and real-life-savers! They can be placed in your children's school bag, around your pets' collar, on your keychain, in a valuable package, or in short, on everything you want to keep an eye on and make sure of their location at all times.
7. Smart Mats
Gyms can now offer you access to connected machines that can track your physical activity through a personalized application to keep track of your progress, for example.
But you can also afford the luxury of a connected sports device at home!
Smart mats are equipped with pressure and movement sensors and will give you personalized recommendations to improve your posture and exercise routine while measuring your activity level day after day.
8. Health Monitoring Smart Devices
We mentioned in a previous article the countless applications offered by the IoT in the field of health, including the amazing example of toilets capable of analyzing your urine and stool, or devices for measuring vital signs that can be used by patients to monitor their health.
But there are simpler solutions for individuals to communicate data with medical authorities.
This is what Withings offers, the Blood Pressure Monitor. Comparable to any device that takes blood pressure, Withings measures your heart rate and blood pressure to offer you regular follow-up that you can share with your doctor.
The future undoubtedly holds many new similar medical-connected objects to take care of ourselves and watch over our condition wherever we are, and this is great news!
Thanks to online information or weather sensors measuring sunshine, air humidity, soil humidity and a collection of other indicators impacting the good health of a crop or garden, connected irrigation systems deliver the most accurate amounts of water for your plants at the best times.
Able to consider the different types of plants and crops, connected irrigation systems allow for perfect attention to the good health and growth of plantations. Thanks to these systems, we observe a gain in the quality and quantities of any crops, for more responsible and productive agriculture.
To finish this article, let's focus on connected objects for the B2Bsector. If the automation and robotization of factories have existed for decades, the Internet of Things completes existing systems and significantly improves their productivity.
The recipe always remains the same: make all the machines open to communication and monitor them using sensors and alerts to:
Detect failures and reduce periods of inactivity
Accelerate transitions from one stage of manufacturing or delivery to another
Monitor machine and employee performance as well as safety conditions
Keep track of inventories and handle restocking autonomously
Optimize energy use
If you are looking to reduce the risks and uncertainties of your production or logistics chain and increase the yields of your facilities, there is no doubt that IoT is the technology you need!
Connected smoke detectors
Video game consoles
Smart lightbulbs & lighting systems
Smart plugs, smart outlets (turn appliances on /off remotely)
Smart photo frames
Alarm systems (smoke, intrusion…)
Are you interested in Internet of Things technologies?
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